Hexham and Northern Rural, the professional chartered surveying and land agency division of Hexham and Northern Marts, has appointed a new agricultural consultant to help and advise farmers with the impending CAP reform.
Carol Johnson joins HNR in a newly created role to help landowners and people working in agriculture across the north of England in the run up to changes in the Single Farm Payment.
With more than nine years’ experience as an agricultural consultant in the region, her key specialisms include CAP reform, rural subsidies and grants, cross compliance, appeals processes, agricultural legislation and regulation.
Carol, who grew up on the family farm at Appleby in Cumbria, said: “I will be bringing my knowledge and experience to an already well-respected group of advisers linked with such an established enterprise as Hexham Mart.
“It is a challenging time for agriculture, with CAP reform posing complex, and often awkward, questions for clients. It is vital that HNR can provide the best possible advice and give clients the confidence to maximise each opportunity.”
Hexham and Northern Marts’ managing director Robert Addison added: “Carol’s specialist skills further enhance the centre’s team and complement the established expertise in HNR.”
Carol’s family is long-entrenched in northern livestock farming, her father David Johnson farming at Castle Bank Farm, Appleby, her brother Paul farming at Herdship Farm, Harwood, in Teesdale, and her sister Sarah Johnson being employed as a vet at Pendgragon Vets, Kirkby Stephen.
Carol herself attended Appleby Grammar School, where she was head girl, and was a member of Eden Valley Young Farmers Club for a decade, holding the offices of both secretary and chairman.
After studying geography at Newcastle University, she spent 18 months working for the Rural Payments Agency Inspectorate, where she inspected land, animals and records for subsidy and cross compliance purposes.
Beginning her career as an agricultural consultant with Lines Mitchell in Gosforth in 2005, she used her knowledge of subsidy schemes and her own farming background to provide legislative advice to clients, covering a wide range of issues, from subsidy and grant advice to the less common area of wildlife licences and mock cross compliance inspections.
In 2011, she was runner up for the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants’ Young Consultant of the Year Award.
In her new role, Carol will be working alongside qualified chartered surveyor Gillian Pattinson at HNR, as well as the auctioneering team at Hexham.
She will be providing advice and support across Northumberland, Cumbria, County Durham and North Yorkshire on all areas of agricultural legislation and regulation, including cross compliance, cattle and sheep records and RPA inspections.
Outside work, she enjoys the outdoors, particularly cycling, walking and playing football.
Gillian Pattinson, whose family farm at Hotbank Farm on Hadrian’s Wall near Bardon Mill, said: “We’re looking to expand our client base at Hexham and it is great that Carol has joined us when so many changes are taking place - many of them in the detail - which will affect farmers and landowners.
“This is a new direction for us,”
Hexham Mart, based at Tyne Green, holds regular livestock sales on Tuesdays and Fridays.